GD Rating System Pro 2.3 is a major new version that brings: accessibility for all default rating methods, improvements to rich snippets, dynamic load, tooltip addons, new Emote This method templates and more.
The new version of the rating plugin includes long changelog that improves plugin core, Emote This method, Thumbs Rating method, accessibility for rating blocks, expanded Rich Snippets support, improved Dynamic Load and much more.
Emote This and Thumbs Rating methods have been improved. Emote This includes several new templates using tooltips to display the list of users votes and even the emotions rating block. Thumbs Rating method has few new themes and a new template with special customizations.
Core Loop and Templates
To make work with templates easier, all default templates now have own subfolders based on the rating method. And, to make templates easier to understand and code, plugin includes main loop object for use inside the template, and this object will handle the active method and other things.
One of the most problematic issues with the rating blocks is how to make the look nice and customisable and in the same time, make them accessible. This new version tries to do just that for all default rating methods. Screen readers should be able to see the drop down elements and buttons for submittal of ratings, and the default rating blocks are hidden. Current solutions used are maybe not perfect, but if you find any issues with the accessibility, please let me know, and I will work to improve it.
Addon for rich snippets has been updated with a lot of new features. To support various rich snippets itemscopes, the plugin has additional options to include publish/modify dates, publisher, author and other things. You have global settings for these, and for each post, you can override settings.
In the same time, both microdata and JSON-LD rich snippet generators are improved and more flexible for the eventual new updates in the future. The plugin also has additional settings for setting Publisher/Organisation name and logo (to override website name). JSON-LD will be set as new default snippet format for new plugin installations because Google has much better support for it, and it is more flexible than microdata.
One of the major issues with older versions was the use of Dynamic Load addon that renders rating blocks using AJAX so that websites with cache use can show actual ratings to visitors. This addon was working fine in most cases, but the major problem was with the long comments pages where each rating block generates one AJAX call, and this can cause severe performance problems. Now, this is changed, and the plugin creates only one AJAX call per page, and it can return all the rating blocks at once.
If you find any issues with the plugin, please use the support forum to report them.